The idea for the photographs came about when the author was trying to capture long exposure lighting strikes. Bored and frustrated with the process of waiting for the nature phenomenon to occur, Jan L Engels Jr decided to create the light motions by inviting a group of ballet dancers to become part of his project.
The photographer spent numerous hours experimenting with the details around the composition of each image. Attaching the lights to the dancers while allowing them to move freely was a particular challenge. After several trials and errors, him and the Brazilian ballet dancers set out to create this series of breathtaking photographs. The technique is different here because the viewer doesn’t see the actual light source but just the trace it has left on the image.
The layering of light and ballet dancers fills the photograph with dynamic motion
“My name is Jan L. Engels Jr., I live in Porto Alegre, Brazil. I consider myself a photographer despite having started to study seriously for a few years. During this period there were many projects with the most diverse subjects and I have just finished what I consider to be my best until now. I call it Balled Project. It relates classic ballet, LED lights and long expositions. I consider innovative because, although Technique is known, I did not find references to an essay like this anywhere.”
“I think it took me about 2 months in preparation, execution and editing. The main challenge was to develop lights that would give the desired effect over a large period of time, without being heavy or limiting the movements of the dancers. After that came a lot of tests, and after many attempts and mistakes, we came to the second big challenge that was to find a place big enough but at the same time dark, and for the lack of options we sealed with canvas the whole hall of my condominium.”
You can see other photographs of dancers in motion on Epistrophy here.